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    Mario

    Mario Biography

    Teen-age singing prodigy Mario began life as a big dreamer. In fact, he knew he wanted to be an entertainer when he was only 4 years old. Recalling the day he’d answered the career question, the 15 year old says, "I was downstairs in my house barely dressed wearing mismatching shoes. My mother heard me singing and at first she thought it was the radio playing loud. When she came downstairs she was shocked when she realized that it was me."

    Every artist needs tools for his trade so upon discovering her son’s expressive yet smooth, unconstrained, completely honest vocal ability she provided Mario with a karaoke machine and a piano which she played quite well herself. The result was simple. "I played with the tools that she had given me and went for broke! From that experience I have learned to create and develop harmonies by just listening to the melodies."

    Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Mario now resides in Northern New Jersey where he is a sophomore in high school. The former frequent talent show contestant remembers when not so long ago, he would enter more singing competitions than he could count. Fortunately for Mario the end result would have him fulfilling his dream of becoming the entertainer he was born to be.

    Forging ahead, within months Mario - whose musical influences are Usher, Brian McKnight, Joe and Stevie Wonder - went into the studio to record his debut album for J Records. The albums first single "Just A Friend 2002" was written and produced by musical veteran Warryn Campbell and pays tribute to the 1980s hip-hop hit "Just A Friend" by legendary rapper Biz Markie. Markie is featured in the video clip of "Just A Friend 2002" which was shot on location in Mario’s hometown of Baltimore, Maryland.

    In addition to Campbell’s contributions, Mario’s debut features production by Harvey Mason (Brandy, Babyface, Tyrese), Gerald Isaac (Mary J. Blige, Angie Stone) and five-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys who contributes two stand-out cuts "Put Me On" and "2 Train."

    "Not only is he full of personality," says Keys, "he has one of the most beautiful and original voices I've ever heard from such a young man. He doesn't sound like anyone else and he already knows what he wants to do vocally. With time, he will only master this even more. That's my lil' man and I'm watchin' over him."

    Mario All Music Guide Biography

    Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, R&B vocalist Mario started to develop his natural talent while singing along with his mom using a karaoke machine at home. Discovered at the age of 11 in a local talent show, he later traveled to New York City to establish a career and scored a contract with Clive Davis' J label. Following his contribution to the Dr. Doolittle 2 soundtrack and a captivating performance of Stevie Wonder's "You and I" at Davis' Grammy party in February 2002, the newcomer was primed for stardom. At the age of 15, Mario debuted with the release of "Just a Friend 2002," produced by Warryn Campbell and based on rapper Biz Markie's hit "Just a Friend." His self-titled album followed in July, featuring contributions by Grammy-winning Alicia Keys. Turning Point, released in 2004, went to number two on the R&B album chart, hoisted by the ubiquitous smash "Let Me Love You," a single that also helped launch the career of Ne-Yo, the song's writer. The December 2007 release of Mario's third album, Go, was preceded by several delays and projected release dates; its initial date was November of the previous year. The album featured productions from Polow da Don, Timbaland, Stargate, the Neptunes, the Underdogs, and Akon. The album's last song, "Do Right," dealt with his relationship with his mother, a heroin addict; just prior to its release, MTV aired I Won't Love You to Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom, a program documenting the pair's struggle. Go peaked at number four on the R&B chart, just prior to Mario's appearance on the sixth season of Dancing with the Stars. D.N.A., Mario's fourth album, was released in October 2009. At the time, two of its songs, "Break Up" and "Thinkin' About You," were already on the singles charts. ~ Drago Bonacich & Andy Kellman, Rovi


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